Running the days out like tap water

I think about Charlotte coming down the steps in the morning, her hair a bird’s nest, the pitter-patter of bare feet across the floor. When it was especially hard early on in parenting, Dawn reminded me it wouldn’t always be this way, which means they’ll grow up, and then you’ll miss it. Most everyone said that, parents with kids who were older and looked away with a kind of wistfulness, a look of love and regret.

I save many of their handwritten notes, which have a ransom letter quality to them with their backwards characters and urgent scrawls. It is a kind of urgency to first express yourself in small ways, and offer it as a gift of creation.

The girls have little jewelry boxes — there was a Christmas where we received a few of them, all at once — and there’s a small figure that turns herky-jerky to a jingle then stops, and you shut the lid. The jewelry boxes get put into other boxes and put out in the garage for some other time in the future, their presence short-lived.

I pin their drawings up at my cube at work. That’s what everyone else does, and it’s nice to have parts of them around me at work, when I feel so otherwise removed from my real life, at home. I cycle through the drawings every few months or so and keep them in a file folder in my desk, also for some other time in the future.

They’re souls unfurling in slow-motion and we all are, but with kids it seems to happen faster; their arc around the sky is on a different trajectory. All our time is scant with the old and the young and it is like tap water to me, you think you can leave it running and there will always be more.

15 responses to “Running the days out like tap water

  1. That was lovely. I’m going through pretty much the same emotions at the moment. I’m sorting out our holiday snaps, and our children have changed so quickly from year to year. To them it seems ages ago, to me it’s hardly any time at all.

  2. I swear to God that empty nest syndrome is hitting men as much as women! And yours have not even left the coup yet. Enjoy them while you can. They will read your blog one day and perhaps have a place where they hang up your favorite writings. Oh how fast things in life seem to go.

    • Sorry for all the sentimentality…god, dripping with it over here! Thanks for the advice and comments Alesia. Here’s to “partly sunny” for the rest of the week, here.

  3. Beautiful, my wistful friend.
    “Music From Big Pink” is getting me through my morning. Any day now, any day now…

    • Tears of Rage dude! (Band ref) somebody’s got to play the fool!

      • Work-related despair triggered me to think “Tears of Rage,” which in turn led me to the music this a.m., so yes.

      • pinklightsabre

        A bold way to start a record, that Band. Hope the day ended better.

      • I was thinking much the same thing. And it did.

      • pinklightsabre

        I used to have a habit for Mondays that I resurrected today: playing Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue. I bookended my day with it and now it’s run into a live version from Carnegie Hall. Kneads the knots out of my brain and reminds me there’s life outside of work.

      • I’m just home from a dinner and assembly at school, and it’s the being around the students that actually made the day end well. Or sort of end. I have writing to do tonight. Maybe I’ll try it with Miles. (Miles to go before I sleep…? Ugh.)

  4. Lovely! I agree with Alesia- this will be a gift to our kids someday. It was a gift for me today- thank you!

  5. wait… you have a cube?

  6. i happy you are aware enough to try to capture moments and know at the same time that it is impossible to hold water in your hands for very long.

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